Remember how a young lady from Hagen who refused to shave her armpits entered the charts singing some weird stuff about red balloons? Well, that was in 1984 and Nena has just turned 50. Time for a new German Fräuleinwunder to emerge … and here she is: Ladies and gentlemen, here comes Lena Meyer-Landrut. Lena who? Okay, forget about her last name, she will probably drop that after having shot to international fame. And this will happen, as we all firmly believe in this country, on May 29th when the Eurovision Song Contest will air.
For the last couple of years, this event that most Germans strangely still call by its French Name “Grand Prix d’Eurovision de la Chanson” (as if anyone ever cared about the French!), has only been interesting to two groups of people.
Firstly, those who have been dead for at least 27 years and secondly those who fancy half-naked Ukranian folk singers dancing clumsily amidst Russian fire-breathers on roller-skates.
Who is interested in watching Latvian presenters dressed to the nines (“Hello Stockholm, I must says that you guys are do a great chob!”) distributing their points to Estonia and Bulgaria? And who wants to watch sad German contestants bound to end up with a total of 3 points (that is, if things are going well). I am convinced that last year’s entry “Alex swings Oscar Sings” was the birth of the new German trend verb “fremdschämen” which means to feel extremely embarrassed about other peoples’ behaviour …
But this year, our nation is holding its breath. The reason is an 18-year-old dark-haired school girl from Hannover, a charming mixture of Björk and Audrey Tautou. She’s so sweet, so natural, so down-to-earth, but without the cheesy bits that being natural, funny and down-to-earth usually entail.
What made her special in the first place was the way she was chosen to represent Germany in the TV show “Unser Star für Oslo”. For the very first time, the audience was able not only to vote for their favourite candidate, but also for the song which the winner would be performing in Oslo. Organized by German comedian and producer Stefan Raab (who took part in the Eurovision Song Contest himself 10 years ago and made it to No 5.), the nation witnessed a kind of alternative TV audition show featuring real people far from the “That is so you!” and “You own the song!” bla bla of numerous other highly polished programmes (just to let you know what is going on in a so-called civilized country: you have Dieter Bohlen, a former member of Modern Talking, heading the jury of the German adaption of “Britain’s got talent” which is bit like Sir Cliff Richard being on the judge panel of a stage diving contest).
With a highly unusual voice and rather understated looks and moves, Lena took the sophisticated pop audience by storm. Her song “Satellite” not only went straight in at No. 1 in the German charts, it was also followed by her other singles “Bee” and “Love me” which were in the Top Ten single charts, a triple success never reached before.
So we are all feeling a bit like we did in the summer of 1998 when the world agreed that Germany would be a great host for the European football cup and when we suddenly had the courage to believe that, hey, we are great people!
So do believe the hype and forget about Nena. Thanks to Lena we can take great pride in our pop culture again. She simply is the most promising cultural representative of our country we have had for decades. Not sure about her armpits, though …
www.lena-meyer-landrut.de | www.unser-star-fuer-oslo.de
Sabine from Bochum, GermanyTweet